Thursday, 10 March 2011

Interview with Alice Melvin

Alice Melvin

Alice Melvin is an Edinburgh based illustrator who creates lovely illustrations of birds, vintage crockery, and lovely kitsch patterns.

What are the key influences and inspirations behind your work?

I love decorative arts and find places such as the Victoria and Albert museum amazingly inspiring. I could wander their ceramic and textile galleries for hours, sketchbook in hand! I find inspiration from being out and about and a tea cup that I’ve drunk from in a cafĂ© or a beautiful lightshade can often find it’s way into my work at a later date. I follow a range of design blogs, buy a lot of books and read magazines all of which help fuel my work.

What types of skills do you think as an Illustrator do you need to showcase your work effectively?
Good presentation skills and good business skills, as well as having selected work that is worth looking at in the first place of course.

What makes yourself different from others in your field?
Everybody (who doesn’t set out to deliberately emulate another person’s practice) will differentiate themselves from others in their field through their personal illustrative style and their working methods. Everybody is different and all customers and clients have different tastes and ideas, which is what makes illustration such a varied field.

Who are your audience, customers or clients that you are seeking to reach? Are you local or global?

I work with a range of clients, predominantly UK based. Some like Tate have established international links such as the co-publication deals for my children’s books, which means that aspects of my work get global exposure. Sales from my online shop are shipped internationally and I wholesale to both UK stores and to Europe.

Where would you show your work? Real or virtual space? Public or private venue? Is there one type of outlet or a variety?

People mainly find my work either through my website, through exposure in other people’s blogs, or by seeing a product that I have designed.

How do you earn your income? Do you offer a product, service or mixture of both?

Both. I offer a service in that I produce illustrations that answer a client’s brief, but I also design and print my own merchandise which I retail direct to the customer and to trade.


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